Tigers Prospect Profile #17: Burke Badenhop

Badenhop is headed to the Marlins

Burke Badenhop flew under the radar the past couple of seasons, but quietly put together an excellent two years - combining to win 26 games and sport an ERA under three both years. Find out exactly what type of pitcher the Marlins are getting in Badenhop.

Burke Badenhop
Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Height: 6-5
Weight: 215
Born: 2/8/1983
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Background
Badenhop joined the Tigers as a 29th round selection in the 2005 June draft, after a successful four-year career at Bowling Green. Burke's final college totals, pitching in the MAC, included a 5.37 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio. After his sophomore season, Burke was named as honorable mention for the All-MAC Academic Team while posting a 1-4 record in 20 relief appearances. He continued his exceptional academic ways by being named All-MAC Academic team again as a junior and senior at BGSU. His senior season saw him named as an Academic All-American. His academic and athletic achievements did not go unnoticed by Bowling Green, as he was named the Junior and Senior Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

Burke made his professional debut with the Oneonta Tigers in 2005, notching a 2.92/1.23 line and a 6-4 record. In September of that year, he was named the MiLB.com NYPL Pitcher of the Week for his 7-inning gem to close out the 2005 campaign. While at West Michigan in 2006, Badenhop's success continued, as he logged 171 innings; good for 2nd in the Midwest League. Burke tied for the League lead in wins (14), and ended the season ranked in the top ten in games started (27), ERA (2.84), and WHIP (1.18). He took home back-to-back TigsTown West Michigan Pitcher of the Month Awards in July and August, and finished the year by being named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year by the Detroit Tigers.

The 2007 season saw more of the same success for Badenhop, as he came out of the gates to nab TigsTown's Lakeland Pitcher of the Month award for April; continuing his hot pitching as the weather warmed, nabbing the same honor in July. His dominating performance for a sub-par Lakeland squad did not go unnoticed as he was promoted to AA-Erie and managed a 2-0 record in three starts for the Seawolves. For the third time on the season, Badenhop was named TigsTown's Pitcher of the Month, this time for Erie. Following his successful season, Burke was sent to the Arizona Fall League where he notched a 2-2 mark with a 3.24 ERA in 11 relief appearances for the Peoria Saguaros.

Scouting Report
Burke's arsenal will never "Wow!" scouts or passers-by, but he can be effective when he remains aggressive. If he can refrain from nibbling at the corners, and challenge hitters to put the ball in play, Burke has the ability to generate outs with the best of them. He generates plus sink on his 88-90 mph fastball that touches 92 occasionally, and can spot it to all four quadrants of the strike zone.

His change-up is an above-average offering, with great arm-action and some tough arm-side fade late in the zone. His ability to use and command his change-up regularly allows him to keep left-handers at bay. Burke's curveball is an average offering that could use some increased command and depth. He made some strides with his breaking ball late in the 2007 season, and reports from the Arizona Fall League were promising about the pitches long term potential.

Quite possibly Badenhop's most noticeable asset is his poise on the mound. He approaches pitching with the mentality that he is in control of the game, and rarely waivers from that mindset. He understands his role within the game and typically makes the correct play defensively. He is an athletic player – his farther played basketball at BGSU in the 70s – and he uses this to his advantage in repeating his mechanics with ease. Burke profiles as a back of the rotation starter and innings eater down the line.

Performance

Level

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

AVG

A+

Lakeland

10-6

3.13

23

23

0

78

34

135.1

.251

AA

Erie

2-0

1.45

3

3

0

12

3

18.2

.127


Health Record
Badenhop has been the model of health since turning pro; a trend that continued from his days at Bowling Green. His mechanics are clean and easily repeated, and he works diligently at his conditioning to remain in top physical shape before and during the season.

The Future
Badenhop was the least known of the six players sent to the Marlins in exchange for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, but he could still have a lasting effect at the Major League level; and soon. His brief stretch of success at Erie in 2007 suggests that he is close to warranting a shot at the big leagues; something that could come his way at some point during the 2008 season.

Burke doesn't have the profile of much more than a #4 of #5 starter, but given his propensity for remaining healthy and eating quality innings, he could provide great value as an inexpensive alternative to the higher priced pitchers available on the open market. Badenhop should find himself making a debut with the Marlins by September 2008.

Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.

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